Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sustaining life in a highly dynamic environment and astrobiology at NASA turns 10

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here's today's news:
g Abodes - Seventeen researchers are in Chile and Bolivia this month to document the impact of rapid climate change on high-altitude lakes in the Central Andes, and their ability to sustain life in a highly dynamic environment. See article.
g Message - The "Fermi Paradox," an argument that extraterrestrial intelligence cannot exist because it has not yet been observed, is a logical fallacy. This "paradox" is a formally invalid inference. both because it requires modal operators lying outside the first-order propositional calculus and because it is unsupported by the observational record. See article.
g Cosmicus - Ten years ago, a new NASA program dedicated to the science of Astrobiology was born. See article.
g Learning - Scientists from the NAI Ames Team have teamed with rangers from Lassen Volcanic National Park to create the Lassen Astrobiology Internship Program. Ten high school sophomores from the rural areas around the park will hike - and later on in the year, snowshoe - to three locations within the Park several times throughout the 2008-09 school year, collecting water samples and other data at various locations. See article.
g Aftermath - A detection of extraterrestrial intelligence will profoundly effect all inhabitants of our planet. The scientific community has realized that the key to ensure a beneficial and rewarding encounter is education and preparation, and these two characteristics apply to many facets of a detection. See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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